Why I spend money on experiences and not things

This has always been a funny one for me because I never really thought about it. In fact I kind of thought the opposite of what the reality is.

I’ve always found myself finding the money to travel, whatever my situation. Whether it’s saving or going ultra-budget. I’m always someone who tries to get value so I’m very rarely using luxury transport or accommodation. Now I have friends who love spending their money on objects. And I always thought ‘yeah that makes sense‘, I mean once this trip has finished they still have their new clothes or watch etc. I always thought that I was kind of being foolish spending it on things that don’t last. But actually, it’s quite the opposite of that.

My trip may have only lasted a few days or even a few weeks but the change that it has on the way I think and feel lasts forever. On the other hand the novelty of buying material things wears of really quickly. Really quickly. Be honest with yourself. The most excitement that you get from something you buy is before you buy it. That’s when you really want it. When you’re scouring the internet looking at pictures of it. When you’re tracking the DPD truck waiting for it’s delivery. Then once you have it, have held it for a while, it all wears off. You don’t feel like that anymore. Now you shouldn’t feel guilty about that, it’s just the way we are, but you should understand yourself and use it to make future decisions.

Now I’m not saying I don’t spend money on material things and I’m not saying that I don’t enjoy them. In fact I am a keen horologist (posh word for watch enthusiast). I do however know what makes me most happy and spending money on experiences does that for me. I will always prioritise a trip over a watch. In fact I have had a particular watch on the back burner for a while now but I found the money to make this skiing trip to the Alps that I’m currently on whilst writing this. Because I love to travel I am constantly trying to fit all of my posessions into a suitcase, meaning the less I have the better. I very rarely take more than 1 or 2 watches with me, so when I think about it like this it’s even more reason not to buy more.

Another reason why I always feel so obliged to be a “yes man” when it comes to travel and doing things is the fact that every experience is once in a lifetime and can never be repeated. Even trips that you can do again and again in the future will never be the same. Some trips have even more uniqueness, for example that friend you may be going on the trip with may not be there next time for whatever reason. Material things can always be bought in the future and they will be exaclty the same as if you bought them today. Some things I do now I am realistically not going to be able to do in 30 years, dispite now much yoga I do until then! But I can always buy a watch when I’m 60. I feel it’s always important to seize the opportunity when it presents itself because it will never be the same again. Ever.

To add to the differences between experiences and material possessions, it is impossible to know what will happen during the former and almost certain what will happen if you spend your money on the latter. Maybe that is a plus point of buying things for you, and if it is that’s fine, but for me that uncertainty of a trip is irresistible. This current trip to The Alps has far surpassed expectations for me and is a complete contrast to some of the recent trips to Asia I have become so fond of. That uncertainty and endless opportunities is the beauty of life. That’s why I’m pretty happy to be here.

Life has endless possibilities, we just need to stop doing the same predictable things.

And that’s why I spend my money on experiences and not material possessions. Enjoy your day.